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"Covering College Football Coaching from Miami to Honolulu"







Age:  47

School:  Texas Tech

Alma Mater:  Brigham Young, 1983

Conference:  Big 12

Salary:  $1,750,000

Official Bio:

Years Coaching:  8

Career Record:  65 - 37  .637

Years at School:  8

Record at Texas Tech:  65 - 37   .637

2007 Record:  9 - 4   .692

2007 Cost per Win:  $184,667




December 2008 Buyout:  $1,500,000


Year School Record Bowl
2000 Texas Tech 7-6 Gallery Furniture
2001 Texas Tech 7-5 Alamo
2002 Texas Tech 9-5 Tangerine
2003 Texas Tech 8-5 Houston
2004 Texas Tech 8-4 Holiday
2005 Texas Tech 9-3 Cotton
2006 Texas Tech 8-5 Insight
2007 Texas Tech 9-4 Gator
Career   65-37 .637
  Texas Tech 65-37 .637


Date Opponent Location 2008 CHS Prediction Result
8/30/08 Eastern Washington Lubbock, TX W  
9/06/08 at Nevada Reno, NV W  
9/13/08 SMU  Lubbock, TX W  
9/20/08 Massachusetts Lubbock, TX W  
10/04/08 at Kansas State Manhattan, KS W  
10/11/08 Nebraska Lubbock, TX W  
10/18/08 at Texas A&M College Station, TX W  
10/25/08 at Kansas Lawrence, KS L  
11/01/08 Texas Lubbock, TX W  
11/08/08 Oklahoma State Lubbock, TX W  
11/22/08 at Oklahoma Norman, OK L  
11/29/08 Baylor Lubbock, TX W  
   Coaches Hot Seat Prediction   10-2  


Coaches Hot Seat Analysis

The 2005 New York Times Magazine article on Mike Leach by Michael Lewis confirmed what a lot of us already knew, that Leach is unlike any other football coach we have ever run into.  Watching Texas Tech on offense gives us pains, because we imagine how in the world a defense could be in good enough shape to constantly being rushing the passer and covering 5 or more receivers.  That is the point though for Mike Leach isn't it, to create so much havoc on the field that it the speeds up the game to such a point, that the opposing defense finally cracks.  No, we would not like to try and stop the Texas Tech offense and we are betting that there are a lot of other head coaches that feel the same way.  The thing we have always wondered about with Leach is why hasn't spent the time to find a quality defensive coordinator, but with the emergence of Ruffin McNeill in the DC position for Tech in '07, maybe that question has finally been answered.  Even with an improved defense last season, Tech still gave up lots of points to Missouri, Colorado, and Texas down the stretch, and even in the win against Oklahoma the Sooners put up 27 points.  Maybe a spring and fall practice can improve the Tech defense even further, because if Tech can find a way to keep opposing teams to under 30 points, the Red Raiders with their potent offense would have an opportunity to win every game they play in. 


Mike Leach has been close to breaking out at Texas Tech before, with a 9-2 regular season record in 2005, but a Cotton Bowl loss to a mediocre Alabama team killed a lot of the momentum into the '06 offseason.  Since '05 we have been watching Leach and Tech to see if they could break through the stranglehold that Oklahoma and Texas have on the Big 12 South, which is something that can only be done with an improved Tech defense.  Mike Leach and Tech are always going to score a lot of points on offense, but allowing an opposing team to march down the field after just scoring yourself, is not a path to winning championship.  Texas Tech did play better in '07, with a very good win against Oklahoma, but a terrible loss to Colorado at home and to Oklahoma State on the road spoiled what could have been a very big year.  The challenge facing Leach and Texas Tech in 2008 will be to win all of the games where they are clearly the better team, and to steal at least one win against a team that they are not as talented as.


Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line

We predict that Mike Leach and Texas Tech will have a 10-2 record in 2008.  With a great offense coming back in '08 and a hopefully improved defense, Texas Tech has an opportunity for a break out year in the Big 12.  The season starts out easy enough against I-AA Eastern Washington in Lubbock, which will be a win, so 1-0 for Tech after 1 game.  Week 2 will be an interesting trip to Reno to play Nevada and Chris Ault's "Pistol Offense" which should be entertaining game to watch with what Leach throws on the field.  This should be a high-scoring game, but Tech has way to much talent to lose to Nevada.  After two games, Tech is 2-0.  The third game against SMU would be a great match-up in about 3 years, but June Jones doesn't have the horses yet to compete with teams in the Big 12.  In what could be another high scoring game, Texas Tech should get a pretty east win.  After three games, Tech is 3-0.  In week four, UMass comes calling Lubbock and talk about culture shock.  Can you imagine those Amherst boys hitting the rodeo or bars in Lubbock?  Now that is something we would pay to see!  Texas Tech will kill UMass, so Tech is 4-0 after four games.  In what could be a pivotal game to the Texas Tech year, a trip to Kansas State is next, and this is a game that either team could win.  Tech should have the firepower on offense to pull away in the second half against KSU, so the Red Raiders are 5-0 after five games.  Week 6 finds the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lubbock and this should be a great game to see what kind of impact Bo Pelini is having in Lincoln.  We see Tech scoring a lot of points in this game, and getting a pretty easy win.  After six games, Tech is 6-0.  Game 7 is a trip to play the hated Aggies in College Station and this is another game that will measure how a first year coach, Mike Sherman in this case, is doing with his team.  A&M should be improved over 2007, but Tech should be able to get this win in this game.  After seven games, the Red Raiders are 7-0.  Week 8 brings a very tough trip to Lawrence to play a much improved Kansas team and this should be a great football game.  In what should be something like 46 to 42, we see Kansas getting the win to run the Tech record to 7-1.  After a tough loss to Kansas, Texas Tech returns home to play the Texas Longhorns.  Will Muschamp and the Longhorn defense will be challenged in this game and what we see as another close game, Tech gets the win over Texas.  After nine games, Tech is 8-1.  In week 10, Oklahoma State travels to Lubbock, and no doubt Tech will want to avenge a very tough loss to the Cowboys in '07.  With the win over Texas, Tech will also want to keep their opportunity to play Oklahoma for the Big 12 South in week 11, and that will be a strong motivation to beat Oklahoma State.  Tech beats the Cowboys and after ten games, Tech is 9-1.  With only one Big 12 loss, Texas Tech travels to Norman to play Oklahoma for first place in the Big 12 South.  Bob Stoops and the Sooners put up a very ugly loss in Lubbock in '07, and no doubt Oklahoma will be fired up to keep their run going towards the '08 Big 12 title.  In what should be a very entertaining game, we see Oklahoma getting the win, which takes the Tech record to 9-2 after 11 games.  The season ends with Baylor traveling to Lubbock to play Tech, and this is game that the Red Raiders will have to be up for, because Art Briles should have the Bears playing pretty well by the end of the '08 season.  This should be another high scoring game, with Tech scoring more than Baylor to get the win which runs their 2008 regular season record to 10-2.


A 10-2 regular season record by Texas Tech in 2008 would be a breakout for the Red Raiders, but it would probably not include a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game, which would be a disappointment with all the talent that Tech has on the offensive side of the ball.  One thing that Leach and Tech need to focus on in '08 is to keep the momentum going in the post-season, because in the last 3 bowl games they have come out flat, especially on offense, and losing the final game of the year can have a major impact on how things get started for the next season.  Still, 10-2 for Mike Leach in '08 at Texas Tech would be a big year.


2008 Coaches Hot Seat Prediction:        10-2


Will Mike Leach be back for the 2009 season?      YES








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